Nairobi — AFC leopards head coach Patrick Aussems says striker John Mark Makwatta was not in his plans for the new season and is not worried after his departure to Botswana where he has inked a two-year deal with top tier side Gaborone United.
Makwatta enjoyed fibe foirm under Aussems after joining Ingwe on loan from Kenya Police FC in January, but the tactician says he was unimpressed with his attitude at the tail end of the season.
“Regarding Makwatta, his attitude in the last two weeks of last season, I didn’t want him to be in the group. I am happy he has found a new club but he was not in my plans this season,” the tactician stated.
Leopards are not able to sign new players due to a current FIFA transfer embargo, but the coach says he will soldier on with the players he has at his disposal and says he is optimistic they will give a good account of themselves.
“It is now two seasons in a row where we are not able to recruit. Last season we lost 17 players but the good thing is that this season we have not lost players. I wanted to recruit three or four players but because of the FIFA decision it will not be possible,” the coach noted.
He added; “We will do with the players that we have. We had a good performance last season and now they are more experienced. I am really happy to begin a new season with them.”
Leopards finished last season sixth despite a torrid campaign that forced them to work with a young inexperienced squad and the tactician, bereft of the prestige of making marquee signings, is optimistic they will do even better this term.
“Last season we did well when many people thought we would be relegated. This season the mood is there and the club is also financially a bit more stable and this is an important thing as well. We will work well with this group and I am sure we will do better than top five,” Aussems noted.
Leopards have not won the FKF Premier League title since 1998 and Aussems will once again try to break the thirst, and remains optimistic his young squad will deliver.
“My philosophy will always be there. It is important that the people and the players are focused on what we can do and I know that with one more year of experience, the squad is growing and I am excited to see what the new season holds for us,” he added.